Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Carousel Quilt - Work in Progress Part 1

Carousel Quilt | Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2017

I am hand piecing. And no-one is more surprised than me! If you had told me at the beginning of 2016 that I would start and finish an English paper pieced quilt (the Daisy Chain Quilt), start a second English paper pieced quilt (the Wagon Wheel Quilt) and then decide to try my hand at hand piecing I would not have believed you. It's all happening.

Carousel Quilt | Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2017

This is the Carousel Quilt ~ a pattern by Sandra Boyle. I first saw the Carousel Quilt at a local quilt show and immediately fell in love with it. However when I saw that the pattern was written for hand-piecing with paper templates for cutting fabrics and piecing I quickly forgot about it. Then one day I was visiting a neighbor who happened to be working on this quilt and she encouraged me to give it a go. The next day I headed out and purchased a pattern from my local quilt store and I haven't looked back! That was in October of last year ...

Carousel Quilt | Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2017
Carousel Quilt | Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2017
Carousel Quilt | Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2017
Carousel Quilt | Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2017

Since then I have cut 550+ tiny fabric wedges with a paper template and a rotary cutter, marked a 1/4" seam on all of the edges of every single one of those fabric pieces with a pencil, hand pieced those fabric wedges into quarter arcs, and eventually turned arcs into complete circles/wheels. I have ended up with 17 complete circles; one more than required for the pattern. (The quilt design features four rows of four wheels on a single background fabric, with additional pieced borders and appliqued yo-yo's. The pattern doesn't include a photo of the finished quilt.)

Carousel Quilt | Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2017

I have really enjoyed the hand piecing. Many of the arcs were completed while I was travelling during the month of November. Not having a sewing machine at my disposal helped greatly to avoid the temptation to sit and machine piece this quilt (which I think is entirely possible). It took a little while to find my hand sewing rhythm, the right needle and thread, but I soon found myself enjoying the process. I may even have been sad to finish piecing the arcs! (I used a Foxglove Cottage Sharps size 10 needle and Aurifil 50 wt thread - the orange spool - for hand piecing).

Carousel Quilt | Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2017
Carousel Quilt | Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2017

The next step is to cut out the background fabric and hand piece the quilt top. Right now that feels rather overwhelming, but I am simply going to take it one step at a time. I have already chosen a background fabric - pictured below; a soft floral fabric with a vintage feel by Atsuko Matsuyama.

Carousel Quilt | Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2017
Carousel Quilt | Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2017

It has taken 3 months to get to this stage of completion and I imagine it will take me at least several weeks to stitch together the quilt top. I like to set aside my evenings for hand work - hand sewing, paper piecing, or knitting - however the evenings are short, especially in Summer. Time just seems to disappear.

Carousel Quilt | Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2017

As always, thank you for stopping by,
Rita

RELEVANT LINKS:
The Daisy Chain Quilt
The Wagon Wheel Quilt 

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21 comments:

  1. THAT is perseverance! Happy New Year!

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  2. Rita, you have the patience of a saint. Well done and so fun. How can you ever put a pricetag on a quilt made in such a way!?

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  3. such a happy fabrics and pattern perfectly match ...

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  4. It is stunning! I started handpiecing in 2015 but put is aside as the needle kept sticking into my finger (the eye bit, not the pointy bit) .. does this happen to you too, am I being a wuss?

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  5. Wow! I didn't realize this was a hand pieced pattern. I bought it for myself after seeing and loving it also! I am doing an EPP hexie, so maybe after that...Congratulations on your progress!

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  6. Yep, life can be surprising like that. It's called, "growth". Congratulations.......and GOOD JOB !

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  7. This is spectacular, Rita, and I'm sure when you finish, you will be very proud of yourself.

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  8. Wow, all your carousel blocks look gorgeous piled on top of each other.

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  9. Absolutely stunning. I love EPP but I don't fancy working on the curved edges, they would be again to get just right. x

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  10. Fantastic! I am working with our quilt group on an EPP Start quilt. Very relaxing!

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  11. Simply stunning!! It will be an amazing quilt!
    Susie

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  12. Rita, This is so gorgeous and stunning as always! I love to finish my Grandmother's garden quilt someday and the backing fabric is really lovely! I think I have a fat quarter of it somewhere! have a great day~

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  13. Your Carousel Quilt wheels are gorgeous! I was wondering the same thing as fatcat, though. How can you price something like this that takes so much time, unless you are making it for yourself?

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  14. Sandra Boyle...., isn't the the woman who...?... Oh never mind, that is Susan Boyle.
    These are incredibly beautiful dresdens, Rita. and the back ground fabric is sweet.
    Hand sewing, what next Rita? You are out of control :-D ♥️

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  15. I am working on a similar project except my wheel has 4 rings. I love it but am ready to be done with it- have been working on it (off and on) for 3 years. You are amazing!
    Ellie
    elliefpw@sbcglobal.net

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  16. What a gorgeous quilt. Love the idea of hand piecing.You are doing a beautiful job.

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  17. Absolutely delightful. The slower pace of hand piecing is a treat in itself. Thanks for showing.

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  18. I love hand piecing! Two years ago, my summer traveling project was 70 baby blocks to make a generous sized throw. I'll have to find the Carousel pattern. I have the perfect fabric. As always, thanks for the inspiration!

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  19. Welcome to the world of EPP and hand piecing! Like you, I thought I would never, ever do any of this stuff. I even snorted when I said that out loud. Well, I am eating my words as I have many EPP and HP projects under my belt now and look forward to which new one to tackle. They are so addictive and so relaxing and so rewarding.

    Love all the ones you have done!

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